kerala

Places of Worship

Sabarimala (Pathanamthitta) Sabarimala, the sacred abode of "Lord Ayyappa", is one of the most important Hindu pilgrim centers in the country. The shrine is located amidst dense forests in the rugged terrains of Western Ghats. Millions of pilgrims assemble here during the festivals of Vishu Vilakku (April), Mandalapooja (Nov - Dec) and Makaravilakku (mid Jan) coinciding with Sankramam. The traditional route to Sabarimala is from Erumeli (40 kms). Other routes are from Vandiperiyar, Uppupara and Chalakkayam via Plapally. These routes are famous for their scenic splendor and mythological value. Pamba is the main halting point on the way to Sabarimala. From here, one has to trek 4 km to reach the temple.

Pilgrims set out in groups under a leader, and each carry a cloth bundle containing traditional offerings called Irumudi kettu. On Makara Sankranthi, Makarajyothi a divine glow will light up the horizon. Sabarimala temple has no restrictions of caste or creed and the temple is open to males of all age groups and females who have either reached menopause or not attained puberty.

Sri Ananthapadmanabhaswamy temple (Trivandrum) It is the most conspicuous landmark of the city. Lord Vishnu is represented as Sri Padmanabha or "Lotus Navel" and is depicted reclining on the coil of Sri Anantha, the sacred snake. The temple is a fine example of Kerala & Dravidian architecture and was rebuilt by Raja Marthanda Varma in 1733.
This is the only lake temple in Kerala and believed to be the Moolasthanam (original place) of Ananthapadmanabha Swami Trivandrum. There is a strong local belief that Ananthapadmanabha had settle down here originally.

Guruvayoor (Trichur) Famously known as the "Dwarka of the south", Guruvayoor is one of the most important pilgrim centers of Kerala. It is believed that Guru, the preceptor of Devas and Vayu (the Lord of Winds) had built the Sree Krishna temple here. Lord Krishna, the presiding deity of the temple is also known as Guruvayoorappan or the Lord of Guruvayoor. The elaborate rituals performed here are said to have been prescribed by Adi Sankaracharya, the philosopher saint of Kerala.
The temple is said to have healing powers and is the best place to witness Hindu marriages and Annaprasanam, the first feeding ceremony of the child. Ekadasi (Nov/Dec) is the most important festival of the temple.

Madhur Ganapathy temple (Kasargod) This was originally a Mahalingeswara (Shiva) Temple. The Idol of Ganapati was discovered by an old lady. The statue was not made by human. This statue later installed in the temple and the temple becomes popular in the name of Madhur Maha Ganapathy temple.

Nityananda Ashramam This Temple of Karthik Swami (Subramanniya), is believed to be constructed by Lord Parasurama, the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. There are references in Hindu Puranas about this Subramanian (Karthikeyan) temple. In Brahmanda Purana the temple and its town is being mentioned while Muni Garga explains about Kerala to the Pandavas during their exile (vanavasa).

Payyannur Subramanian temple This was originally a Mahalingeswara (Shiva) Temple. The Idol of Ganapati was discovered by an old lady. The statue was not made by human. This statue later installed in the temple and the temple becomes popular in the name of Madhur Maha Ganapathy temple.

Rajarajeswara Temple (Thalipparamba) This temple is treated as one of ancient "Shakti Peedams". The Shiva Linga here is believed to be thousands of years old. It is believed that Sri Rama during his victorious return from Lanka, stopped here to offer worship to Lord Shiva. In honour of his presence, devotees are not allowed into the namaskara mandapam even today.

Kanjiragat Vaidyanathan temple Here Lord Siva is being worshipped as Vaidya Nathan, (Curer of all diseases). Thousands of devotees visit this temple for getting rid of their uncured diseases. Brahmin ladies are not allowed to enter the temple.

Trichambaram Krishna Temple It is believed that Shiva at Rajarajeswara temple assures the child a high status, Sri Krishna of Trichambaram bestows it with good nature and mental qualities and the deity at Kanjiragat temple with long life.

Parassini Kadavu Muthapan Temple The temple is dedicated to Lord Muthapan, believed to be the incarnation of Lord Shiva. This is the only one temple in Kerala where the Folk art form of North Kerala 'Theyyam' is presented daily. Toddy and dried fish are the main offerings in this temple.

Peralassery Sri Subramanian temple It is a very popular temple in Kerala and presiding deity is Subramanian. Mainly offerings are made here for serpent God.

Thodikkalam Siva Temple The Siva temple in Thodikkalam is on an elevated terrace with 18 laterite steps leading up to it and the mandatory temple tank below. There are exquisite murals on the outside temple walls, including episodes from the Ramayana and Rukmini Swayamvara and some rare ones of Sankaracharya in beautiful earth tones of rust, terracotta, bronze, copper and red.

Kottiyoor Siva Temple An important Pilgrim Centre of North kerala dedicated to Lord Siva, is often described as the "Varanasi of South". There are two temples here- Ikkara kottiyoor and akkara kottiyoor- both in deep forest. A sword from another temple brought to ikkara kottiyoor marking the beginning of the festival is believed the one with the mythical character Dakshan was hacked to death.

Tellicherry Jagannatha Temple The Jagannatha Temple, set up by Sree Narayana Guru in 1908, is another important temple. The scheduled caste and tribe men were admitted to this temple in 1924. Pooja is performed here by non-Brahmins, according to ancient Hindu rites. Presiding Deity is Siva.

Thiruvangad Sri Rama Swami Temple Presiding deity is Sri Rama Swamy. The Thiruvangad temple, dedicated to Sree Rama, is an important temple. The temple is generally known as the Brass Pagoda from the copper sheeting of its roof. A part of the temple was damaged by Tipu's troops in the 18th century, but the temple itself is believed to have been saved from destruction by a miracle.

Vatakara Lokanar Kavu Temple Presiding deity is Bhagavathy. This temple is frequently alluded to in the northern ballads or the 'Vadakkanpattu' of Kerala. The three rock cut caves in the temple premises are artfully engraved with beautiful carvings and fascinating murals. The main temple, according to legend, is more than 1500 years old. The main deity here is Goddess Durga, with two adjacent shrines dedicated to the gods Vishnu and Siva.

Pishari Kavu Bhagavathy Temple Kollam Pisharikkavu Siva and Devi Temple in two Sreekoils and with other sub shrines. This well maintained temple has exquisite wood-carving and mural paintings.

Thali Siva Temple Built in the 14th century by Swamy Thirumulpad, the Zamorin, within his palace complex, this temple dedicated to Lord Siva was the venue of Revathy Pattathanam, the annual cultural and intellectual event.

Kadamupzha Devi temple The Temple for Sreeparvathi at Kadampuzha, dedicated to Goddess Vana Durga, is one of the most prominent Devi temples in Kerala. Legend about the origin of the temple is associated with the popular episode in the Mahabharata where Arjuna does penance to appease Lord Siva to obtain the divine weapon Pasupathastram.

Vadakkunnathan temple (Thrissur) Legends say that Adi Sankaracharya was born after his parents, who were childless for many years, prayed at the Vadakkunnathan temple, where presiding deity is Lord Siva. This temple is world famous connected with Thrissur Pooram.

Paramekkavu Temple Presiding deity is Bhagavathy. This temple is having connection with Vadakkunnathan temple. Thousands of years ago a mighty goddess resided under a tree that still stands (it is said) in what is now the compound of the Vadakkunnathan temple. When Shiva's devotees decided to enlarge his small shrine into a grand temple they moved the goddess, conceived of as his daughter, eastwards and down a slope to a temple of her own. She is there still, the Paramekkavu Devi.

Vaikom (Kottayam) Famous for its legendary Shiva temple believed to be built by Lord Parasuram. The 12-day Ashtami festival held in Nov/Dec is known for its elephant processions, religious discourses and traditional dance & music.

Ananthapura (Kasaragod) A 9th century temple set in a rock cut lake is the only lake temple in Kerala. It is the moolasthanam or the original seat of Ananthapadmanabha of Sree Padmanabha Swami of Thiruvananthapuram.